Archive for August, 2017

August 9, 2017

Some news from France and Spain

Hello y’all, this is my last post before my long summer vacation in Spain, and won’t be back to the last day in August. Therefore, I like to thank you all for following my blog up to now and looking forward to more posts for all to enjoy including me ::)

Here in my lovable Morbihan it is sunny ! temps around 18C or 60F Méteo France calls for rain in the afternoon but can’t tell by looking out.  In fact they call for rain into the night …..The Weather Channel has it at 62F cloudy with risk of rain by midday…well I am looking out bright sunny no clouds oh well here goes the weather again.

Paris is at 64F cloudy as well ……and chance of rain today and tomorrow. Madrid is at 73F a bit cloudy but no rain, hey where is the heat wave !! well it says goes up to 95F by Sunday!

A bit more on both countries coming up.

The INSEE, the French statistical office has an increase in tourist for the 2nd trimester of 2017 with hotel nights at 56,6 Millions or a 6,3 % increase over same period last year. The foreign visitors are back with an increase of 10% and it tells France could reach 88-89 million visitors this year or an increase of 5-6% over 2016. Of course, if all else stays the same. Like the latest attempt in Levalois-Perret (92) outside Paris of military Sentinelle security personnel been run over by a car with 6 wounded ,two serious but not death threatening just this morning.

Know about tourism in France from the official French page here:

In Spain things are popping, according to the provisions of the Spanish hoteliers, Confederation Espanhola de Hoteles y Alojamientos Turisticos (CEHAT) ,they expect 56,7 million hotel nights or an increase of 8,8% over the same period last year. On the whole, they expect to have 80 million visitors this year 2017. The main foreign market is the UK and even the Brexit still has not cause any differences. They have increase by 14% the visits to Spain and increase expending by 19%. IN the long range visitors, the leading market is the USA with an increase of 19,4%, the Asians 34,5% (Japan, China,South Korea,and India), all due to better air connections, weak Euro and terrorist insecurity elsewhere.

Know about tourism in Spain from the official Spanish page here:

There is a new contest on popularity by the site El Viajero Fisgon, that gives the favorite town of the Spaniards to visit. These are in order Ronda, Pastrana, Albarracín, Cadaqués (Cataluña), Alcalá de Júcar (Castilla-La Mancha), Cudillero (Asturias), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), La Alberca (Castilla y León), Trujillo (Extremadura), Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid), Frigiliana (Málaga), Hondarribia (País Vasco), Altea (Valencia) ,and Vejer de la Frontera (Andalucía) to name a few. More here:

And have you heard the news lately, the song Despacito by Luis Fonsi has become the first video to surpass the 3M views in Youtube and the most likes in history! The video has been seen in 40 countries with translations.  I would not post the video here but easy to find in YouTube.

Why people comes to Spain, well for sun and beach , but not really there is so much to see.  Unesco declares 46 sites for world heritage sites only the third country behind Italy (53) and China (52) and surpassing France (43) and Germany(42)!

Some statistics from Wikipedia ,Eurostat;etc on most hit cities to come:

París is the Unesco Heritage site most recherche

Number of Visits in Wikipedia to these sites during  2015,en millions. París,6,82 m; Rome,5,76 m,,Istanbul,4,78 mi,,Auschwitz,4,64 m, Statue of Liberty NYC;4,09m, The Great Wall of China,3,82 mi,Taj Mahal,3,69 m,Vienna,3,48 m,Budapest,3,43 m,Vatican City,3,34 m,Mexico City,3,26 m,Prague,3,25 m,Pompeii Italy,3,17 m,Venice Italy,3,16 m,Machu Picchu Peru,3,02 m,Moscow,2,81 m,Warsaw Poland,2,7 m,Rio de Janeiro,2,49 m,Stonehenge,2,46 m. Etc etc

And something not done yet, but have folks doing it and sure one to pop over is camping cars. Some tips from Erwyn Himer Group.

To choose the model, caravaning market you have basically four types, the Camper, freer movement, Capuchina, space with bedroom for driver, families or groups, Integrated almost like a bus design and the profil with good quality price ratio. The speed for camping cars is 90 KPH on conventional roads and 100 KPH in expressways/motorways. Parking is allow on designated areas for campings. The rights such as shower, lavabo, and sink need to be empty in spaces designated for that. The leftout water are to be kept in tanks and to evacuate them need to find a sewer or pvc exit pipe like.  Like I said ,not an expert but always curious about them for later on in life ….. more on this here:

Enjoy your vacations as I am looking forward to enjoy mine, today is my last day at work lol!!!  Happy camper indeed!!! And a road warrior soon on the motorways of France and Spain!! Cheers!!

August 4, 2017

Some news from Spain XLVIIII

Ok so maybe one last post on Spain before getting there, can’t wait. We had in my area a cloudy, rainy cool day all day and still with temps at 20C or about 69F.

It is nice to speak about Spain and their parks , some very close to me like Guadarrama , Teide, and Picos de Europa. Here is more on them

Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama just north of Madrid. A mountain range running east to west in the peninsula (Spain) There are many roads to get there like the Calzada Borbónica in Fuenfría or the Macizo de Peñalara; also, in bicycle like the La Horizontal, Calderuelas, Pinares de Canencia, Las Zetas de La Pedriza, Pinares de La Barranca , and the Valle de La Fuenfría. You can do escalade or climbing on the La Pedriza de Manzanares. You can top if off by visits to  La Granja de San Ildefonso or the Monasterio de El Paular. You can stop by for lunch of gambas a la plancha, pork chops and grill meats at Sala, Ctra de los Molinos, 2 Guadarrama or Casa Ochoa calle Virgen de las Nieves 70). For more info visit the Centro de Visitantes Valle de la Fuenfria, ctra de las Dehesas, km 2, Cercedilla; open every day from 9h to 20h. More here:

Parque de la Sierra Nevada (Almería/ Granada). This is the biggest park with 80 000 hectares and the only Spanish Mediterranean mountain with more than 2000 species of flora; as well as many fauna. The best known trail is El Sulayr with about 300 km of trails that allows you see the park in stages. You can go by road on the Carretera al Veleta , the third highest peak of Spain. You can stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta, Avenida de Sierra Nevada, 146 Cenes de la Vega, Granada; a stylish palace mudéjar with a branch at Monachil. More info at the Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo, ctra A-395, direction Pradollano, km 23, Guéjar, Sierra Nevada, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 14h and 17h to 19h . More info here:;jsessionid=03ACA1726F0299348C402D12FF3709F2?idEquipamiento=19476

Tablas de Daimiel , Ciudad Real. Best to visit early in the morning or late afternoons. The tables or tablas are form by the overflowing of the rivers Guadiana and Ciguela.  You have three pedestrian routes to cover the whole park. The itineiraire of Isla del Pan is the most famous and takes 2 km with wooden passarelles. Here on the island or Isla del Pan you find the unique formation of forest of tarayes (tamarix). You can stop for lunch at  El Bodegon, calle Luchana 20, Daimiel; an old bodega of the 18C.  More info at the Centro de Visitantes de las Tablas de Daimiel, open everyday from 9h to 21h. More info here:

Teide(Tenerife) ,my family from both side of grandparents are from here.  These have an incredible view with a geological monument , volcanic cones, and sides of mountain in lava creating a multitude of colors. Parque Nacional del Teide is the most visited in Spain , and it has four roads to reach it. To climb to the highest point Pico Teide (3718 meters) you need a permit beforehand. The famous and wonderful canyons of  Teide,its great plains where the eroded lava is held in high altitudes and sides that you can walk on them is wonderful. The peak or Pico del Teide you can see free with guides and prior reservation. Do not miss the lookout or Mirador de los Roques de Garcia.  You can have lunch at  Tasca Tierras del Sur, calle pedro gonzalez gomez 20 Granadilla de Abona. More info at the Centro de Visitantes de El Portillo, ctra TF 21 de la Orotava a Las Canadas, Portillo de la Villa. Open every day from 9h to 16h. More info here:

Picos de Europa (Asturias/Léon/Cantabria). The biggest chalk formation in Atlantic Europe with an enormouse unlevelling between valleys and peaks that surround it. You have free guided tours during the Summer.  One spectacular tour is to see the Vegarredonda and Ordiales that starts around the lake or Lagos de Covadonga  and travel on hills around the municipality of Cangas de Onis. El Refugio de Vegarredonda is the intermediary point in the walk tour just where the ascend to the lookout or mirador de ordiales begins (a national balcon of 1700 meters on top of a side canyon vertical of 1000 meters over the valley of  Angon where you see wonderful views over the municipalities of  Ponga, Caso, and  Sajambre, and peaks like the western massive of the Picos de Europa). You can have a very good lunch at the Rincon de Don Pelayo, Real Sitio de Covadonga, 25 Covadonga, Cangas de Onis . More info at the Centro de Visitantes ,Sotama, avda Luis Cuevas, 2ª Tama, Cillongo de Liebana.Cantabria. More info here:

Couple of nice restaurants that open in August in Madrid are:

Lavinia, Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 16. It is a great liquor store as well with a huge selection on wines (Also at Pl Madeleine Paris). Great menu with chipirones a la andaluza con piparras fritas, steak tartare, ensaladilla rusa, mollejas con berenjenas etc; and over 4500 wine references alone! More info here:

El Perro y la Gallina, Calle Claudio Coello, 11, with an air of English club , own by the founder of the cracker company that shows in the decoration of the resto. It is dog friendly, and the menu includes ensaladilla con carpaccio de gambon, ceviche al pesto and tacos al pastor etc.  More info here:

And now let me tell you a bit more of my background, DNA for real, my grandparents on mother and father’s side comes from Tenerife, and I grew up with the traditions. Now let me tell you a bit on Tenerife and its wines as well.

Tenerife has the best vineyard festivals, and way back was a great kingdom of pre Christian times that still you can find tells of it.  The name of Tenerife comes from a king Guanche (how locals derive from, and king =mencey) that share the island with nine sons giving to each a kingdom. From the beginning of the Castilian conquest (ended in 1496 attach to Spain) the town of  Icod de los Vinos  was an important center of cultivation.  The cith of Santa Cruz is in the kingdom of or menceyato of Anaga .  It will a good idea to walk the street or calle Imeldo Serís, very typical of the origins. Some of the monuments here are Parrish Church de la Concepción, located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, dating from 1502,  the fountain or fuente de Isabel II,(queen) in the square or plaza de Isabel II, a monumental  neo classical work built in 1844;  Plaza de la Candelaria, an esplanade on cobble stones that was the entrance to the now gone castle or castillo de San Cristóbal , that has an obelisk in marbre carrara of 4 meters high sculpture in the 18C ; the  palace or  Palacio de los Carta, now a bank  built with quarry stone and one of the baroque jewels of the city  with neo classical elements. The baroque temple Church of  San Francisco dating from 1680; theater or  Teatro Guimerá dated 1850, it has decoration in golden panes and musical frescos inside and comedy masks.  The park or Parque Marítimo César Manrique,next to the castle or castillo de San Juan; the Parque de la Granja, or the  Parque de Don Quijote; the Parque García Sanabria  is a romantic park with valuable modern sculptures.

We move on to the city of  San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island, and capital of the menceyato Guanche of Anaga , and the island. It preserved the richness of its monuments ,with mansion of sunshine, convents and good nightlife. You can walk along the Plaza del Adelantado and its most interesting street the  Calle San Agustín. See the Church  de la Concepción (1496-1511), with a belltower of 1701.  In the nave you have mudéjar arts on teak wood . It is nearby the Chapel of  San Miguel dating from 1506 now converted to an exposition hall. In the convent or convento de los Agustinos ,there still a bell, a cloister of red stone from the 18C, an a beautifical balcon on the Canaries style.  The original convent or convento de Santa Clara dating from the 16C keeps a lookout tower on the mudéjar style. You can see a similar one in the convent cloister or convento de clausura de Santa Catalina de Siena. the notable mansion of  Nava dating from 1585 now of different styles. In the 18C it was home to many literary and utopian reformists of the times. Other nice mansions are those of  Casa del Corregidor, plateresque gate, and the Casa de los Capitanes,dating from the 16C.

We continue with the city of La Orotava a typical tenerifian town with influences of English, Andalucian , Normandian, and Castilians. You should not miss the botanical garden of the parque botánico ,la Hijuela created in the 18C. La Orotova is the home of the DO of the Valle de la Oratava wines done with grapes of malvasía, and solera bodegas (wines not known on the mainland not elsewhere) the best bodegas are those of Valleoro and Tajinaste. The mansions of  Casa Machado-Llerena and Casa de Torrehermosa, Casa de los Balcones , and the buildings of the street or calle Colegio. From the lookout or mirador de Humboldt you can see the best views of the town  , Puerto de la Cruz, and its extraordinary botanical garden or  Jardín Botánico.

And the trip goes on to La Guancha the best known bodega on the island from the DO designation  such as Bodega Viñátigo, good white wines even if  95% of it stays in the island. You can try the Viña La Guancha (wines of the brand  Viña Zanata) are good too.  The Bodegas gives freely wine to taste in the festival or feast of San Andrés,  November 29-30 2017 next.  It has a nice square or plaza de la Pila, from the 17C with a small botanical garden. Some more bodegas in Icod de los Vinos with good quality are those of  Francisco Javier Gómez Pimentel (Aceviño). Around Icod  you find the wonderful caves of  Cueva del Viento, the longest volcanic tube in the world with 14 kms of tunnels where live 55 animal species adapted to subterranean living; it has been discovered fossil of a giant lizard and remains of a huge pre historic rat.

And we arrive to my specific area of DNA ! the valley or valle de Güímar , where my grandparents comes from on all four sides !!! This is an area with huge arqueological interest like the necropolis of the kings or  menceyes Guanches with hundreds of mommies, and the pyramids of  Güímar (and yes you are not in Egypt!). You see the interesting volcanic formation of the Malpaís de Güímar. You should stop by the Church of San Pedro, that has many sculptures of local folklore.  The city Candelaria (my paternal grandparents were born here) was an important Guanche inhabited area and grew from the 1526  around the sanctuary of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands (first of Tenerife) , the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria. Here you can walk on the square or plaza de la Basílica, with bronze statues of our ancestors kings and the Casa Consistorial,with tenerifian architecture  The DO on these lands are from the grape white Listán especially.  The coop or  Cooperativa de Abona ,and in Güimar, the Bodegas of  Juan Tacoronte Cejas , and  Tomás Guzmán Mesa are very good indeed.

And two sites to know more about the wines of Tenerife are here:


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August 3, 2017

Some news from France CLXVII

It seems I am blogging a lot on the latest in France, but later on will be resting on my vacation in Spain; and there is so much to tell you of my belle France!  Today was a windy cooler day with hardly any sun in my Morbihan Breton, temp is now at 19C or about 67F. While in Paris eternal is 78F and more sunshine;low tonite will be around 63F.

In continuing with the mayor’s office of Paris trying to get rid of the car/auto and many businesses as well; we have a good allied in the Prefect of Police of the region of île de France who is in charge of regulating and enforcing traffic laws on the whole. He does not like the Mayor’s ideas , and you know neither do I ::)

The Mayor idea is to redo completely the beautiful street rue de Rivoli, a central axis of the city running from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Bastille…!!The crazy idea is to create a cycling lane in double direction! They will get rid of the two-way lanes of automobiles today.  From now the automobile folks will conduct their travels on one Indian file lane !!!next to the bus lane and a cycling lane bidirectional of 4 meters (about 13 feet).  To this end the préfet de police or Police chief ask to get rid of this project and maintain the double lanes for automobiles next to the bus lane. Now even the taxis are complaining especially those from the taxi stand at Saint Paul (4eme) as they said rightfully so with two lanes there is already a traffic jam , and the bus lane they have to get out because of deliveries to the merchants; with one lane it will at least hell on wheels!!! To be Continue….Now see nice photo from Le Parisien newspaper here!

One more finding in France of archeological significant. They have found a little Pompeii at Sainte Colombe in the Rhône. It has already been declared by the Minister of Culture as an “exceptional discovery!” They estimate the site was occupied about 3 centuries ago and it is of 7000 m2 space quite a size. They will continue the search until September but from August it can be visited. More in French here:

In on the archeological mindset I continue on the matter. While building some apartments in Marseille, they have found something wonderful that will save about 600 M2!!! The vestiges of the Greeks, old of 2600 years coming from the first time of the Phoenician city. Marseille is known as the oldest city in France!  The first Greek colony in Gaul founded by the Phoenicians who came from Ionia (today the Turkish coast) in 600 BC.  The quarries of the Greek antique or La Corderie done against the backdrop of the Church Notre Dame de la Garde on Bd de la Corderie, by the search of the Institut national de Recherches Archéologiques Préventive or INRAP. We are on the first times of the city about 50 years after its foundation, with the oldest traces coming from early the 6C BC. The quarries were exploited until about the 2C BC. The place is about 1200 square meters with 5-6 meters high, very near the Vieux Port where at the times it was a harbor here in the shape of a horseshoe. More here in French:

And not antique but new design coming up as well;  on the square des Larrys,  at Puteaux. They have installed a wonderful Clock that can be seen from the lower street of the rue Monge. This is a luminous floral clock ! It was done in the shop of Huchez,from  Ferrières (Oise),and it measure 2,80 meters in diameter (about 9 feet) ; all inspired, design and assemble there. This is a well-known jeweller with a family tradition since 1832 and have done more than 2000 clocks in France with 1200 sold each year. More on Huchez here in French:

Something nice ,for all ,but especially for visitors me think. The Greeters, beginning in France in the years 2000, these are volunteer guides where 60% are retirees that welcome tourists French and foreigners for tours of the city on areas they know well. The origins of this movement started in New York back in 1992; today they are present in 34 countries and 150 towns. Here in France ,they are under the Fédération France Greeters ; and the Paris branch has about 400 members able to offer you a guide in about 15 languages including Chinese! You simply need to go their site and sign on for the areas of interests to you and available dates . Not too far from me in Nantes, was one of the first branch in France and one of the most active today with about 40 members hosting about 300 tourists on average with about 30% foreigners. More on them here:

There is a professional competing organization, this is the Fédération nationale des guides interprètes et conférenciers (FNGIC), 1 000 members, and not as open as the greeters. This was created in 2115 and officially open in April 2017. Their webpage is .  Then, you have the newest one the LocalBini  , trying to be the first platform of collaboration community economic dedicated to Tourist and Cultural experiences in Europe. They propose tours in Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Lisbon and since July London and Rome. The idea is simple, you sign up for free on the site and reserve an activity.  Their webpage is here!

Something visitors probably do not or will not understand, there is a lot more than Paris in France. And now according to a survey by Empruntis, a real estate broker one over two Parisian wants to leave Paris. Leaving a capricious climate, pollution, and crowded places or searching for better pay.  According to this study  46%  of Parisians wants to leave the city. The more expensive districts are the ones where the people wants to leave the most. Two third wants to leave the arrondissement or districts 1er, 3e, 4e, 6e ,and 8e. While a whopping 70%  of the districts 18e and 20e arrondissements would want to do that.  Even, if as a whole the region of ile-de-France  stays the one that attracts the most buyers of property. More in French on where we like to go all else been equal:,8119

And now for some interesting Summer cruises in Paris:

In August the non-profit org  Freegan Pony,  that serves the unsold food at the huge market south of Paris ,Rungis,  go on a cruise !  You will see serve all along the cruise sandwiches du monde or world’s sandwiches  done with products non caliber and with a glass of rosé wine. August 26 and 27 departs from the bassin de la Villette at 19h30 , duration 2h; more here:

A more romantic cruise ,Croisiere du vieux Paris , along the Seine to find the secrets of the canal Saint-Martin !  There will be a cruise of 2h30 making you pass by the vault tunnel of the Bastille, the wonderful passerelles of the Canal , the levies and the bridge or pont levant de Crimée ! Departing every day at 9h45 and 14h40 from the Port de l’Arsenal and 9h45 and 14h45 from the bassin de la Villette. Fridays and Saturdays at 18h from the basin de la Villette or the pont de l’Arsenal, duration 2h30. More here:

Then, you have the cool Safari Boat, a cruise with music each Wednesday at sundown. Along the Seine with rhythm concerts with live DJ’s from the best at the moment such as Agar Agar, les Naive New Beaters or the  Fishback  to name a few.  You need to come quick Wednesdays from 19h departing from 2 quai Saint Bernard (5eme), reservation is obligatory. More here:

A Paris favorite foodies place and now in the west ,dept 92 Hauts-de-Seine. In the lower part of the harbor of Port bas d’Asniéres by the quai du Docteur Dervaux.  Here Rosa Bonheur in the west is born! The menu has tapas ham Serrano, cream of Artichoke, tarama with urchins corals or pizzas in wooden fire. La Rosa Bonheur à l’Ouest, 20  quai du Docteur Dervaux – 92600 Asnières. Open Wednesdays to Saturdays from mid day to 23h45 and Sundays from mid day to 21h. More here:

The MoMA is coming to Paris. from October 11, is giving some of its works of arts to the Fondation Louis Vuitton until March 5 2018. The exposition “Etre Moderne: le MoMA à Paris, presents collections of exceptional value some never before shown in France. More than 200 works of arts retracing the history as a role of collections in the world are presented. The museum of Modern Art was created in 1929 interested in plastic arts of the times. Etre Moderne : le MoMA à Paris will show all the works acquired by the museum during this time. From the first movements of the modern art to the expressionism abstract passing by the minimalism and the pop art. You will see paintings, sculptures, stamps, photos ,films, numeric works, performances, architectural objects and design. Works from Paul Cézanne, Edward Hopper, Constantin Brancusi, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Marcel Duchamp ,and Alexander Calder to name a few will be on display. Some of the works never shown in France before will be  Les boîtes de soupe (soups cans) Campbell of Andy Warhol (1962) , and the  Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey of  Diane Arbus 1967.  Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi , (16eme). More info here:

All Summer from early on 7h (7am) the écurie enchantée is proposing to extend your time in the afternoons with an equestrian show. An excuse to stay later on in the day with a nice place.  It all begins from August 6th at the Villette. The place has 3000 m2  and is ready to welcome the weekends of summer all comers even the insomniacs like some of us.  In the exterior you will see the night light on the vast space of trails . Many other activities such as baby-foot, jacuzzi, badminton, arcade games or society games. All with a mega floor of dance of about 1000 m2 and the mini shops like a market, yoga courses, tattoos etc and about 500 m2 of restauration. All on Sundays in August 6-13-20-27 from 7h to 21h. More here in Facebook:

And let’s close this post with something all should do in Paris. Forget the public transport or even the car, the best way to see Paris is walking. Do it, try it, and keep at it. The more you walk the more you will love Paris. I have done it ,and I am not known for walking in the French sense,which is done a lot here. However, I have come used to and it is wonderful. Some of my favorite walks in Paris ,the city of romance and more.

You give yourselves a start from the métro Censier-Daubenton ; take the street rue Daubenton and go towards the Mosquée de Paris. IT would be worth to enter, admission needed but the gardens are just worth it. Come out and go back  towards the rue Monge, on the right you will pass by the discreet entrance to the  arènes de Lutèce at No 49, a jewel of Roman architecture. Go towards the Place Maubert, and stop by the Church  Saint-Julien le Pauvre by the rue Lagrange, then the  rue Galande (dating from the 12C).  Continue on to the square Viviani.The old grand tree here in the entrance to the garden is the oldest tree in Paris ! The walks continue right here to the rue de la Bucherie that allows you to walk along the bergers of the quais de Seine to come to the pretty Anglophone library of the Shakespeare & Company. We keep walking, yes!!! straight into the rue de la Huchette. You will arrive at the nice wonderful  place Saint-Michel and see the wonderful fountain here. Go around to the little pretty place Saint-André-des-Arts to link up with the boulevard Saint-Germain by the rue Suger.  I encourage you to take some time here to see the Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest in Paris built in 1163.  Take the street rue de l’Abbaye, and look at the entrance door at no. 14, you will see the wall the hall lobby of the remains of a monks dormitory, a nice medieval vestige ! Come back to the  boulevard Saint-Germain,and take rue Bonaparte until the Church  Saint-Sulpice. You need to go in to see the paintings by Eugène Delacroix.

Another nice walk is to start from the métro Raspail.  You should see the passage d’Enfer, on the right of the rue Campagne-Première, even if unfortunately it has wrought iron grills to cover it.  You notice the beautiful house at 242 boulevard Raspail where Picasso lived for a while in 1911! Take again the  rue Campagne-Première, and see the house on no 31. Again at no 17, you will a pretty small street full of shops. And you arrive at the boulevard du Montparnasse, turn right then go until the restaurant brewery  Closerie des Lilas. This  brasserie was the site of encounters of several intellectuals like Gide or Apollinaire.  You turn to the left and take the avenue de l’Observatoire. You will end up at the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde, a symbol of the urban art of the 19C.  And you see a wonderful view of the jardin du Luxembourg. You walk pass the jardin des Grands Explorateurs  until the jardin du Luxembourg  then turn left  and take the  rue Auguste Comte , then  rue Vavin,at no 26 you will see a nice building in white ceramics built by the architect Henri Sauvage.  You continue walking to rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs until rue de la Grande-Chaumière.  At the end of the street you will reach the Carrefour Vavin, today call place Pablo Picasso.  Here you will find four great brasseries or brewery restaurants such as the  Le Dôme, La Coupole, La Rotonde ,and le Select. Several artists come to here for discussions and redo the world. You cross the square Picasso and take the rue Huyghens. Continue straight until the cemetery or  cimetière du Montparnasse. Here many famous are buried such as see the tomb of  Jean-Paul Sartre ,and  Serge Gainsbourg. You come out from here and take the boulevard Edgar Quinet until the rue de la Gaîté, quant in full of theaters and bistros (one of my favorite areas of Paris!) ; you take left to the avenue du Maine until the rue Raymond Losserand, the business street of the district  and walk a further 500 meters to the rue des Thermopyles,a pretty paved street. End

The best to buy for walks in Paris is the book you can buy in all tabacs, FNAC etc is the L’Indispensable :le petit parisien. Enjoy the walks.

And have a great Friday, TGIF indeed and the weekend! Cheers!

August 2, 2017

Some news from France CLXVI

Yesterday was a sunny calm wind day in the Morbihan Breton, looking out of my window ,it feels a slight breeze, temps at 21C or 72F. It is bug time again to write about my belle France. The countdown began for my long European summer vacation soon.

If anybody around will be by the Les Valseuses bar in old town Vannes tonite ::)  Just behind the Chateau de l’Hermine and close by the ramparts of Vannes. more here:

Issues with public transport, always a nightmare in Paris if you happened to have worked there like me for 10 years; lucky some visitors that do not have to go thru this everyday.

there is work going on to renew and renovate the rails for 3,7 km (2,2 miles) of the RER A requiring the closing of the line between La Défense and Nation until August 27th. As you come out of the RER A station Auber, you will see water in the tunnel coming from the phreatic nappe at about 30 meters deep and one of the lowest point in this line. There is extraction of stones here needing to close four stations Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile, Auber, Châtelet-les-Halles, and Gare de Lyon.  There are seven trains of 200-400 meters long doing this work according to the SNCF (France rail authority).

The work continues in the rue de Rivoli to make a bicycle lane on the bus lane now ; this will this line stop between rue de Fourcy ,and the rue Lobau in the 4eme arrondissement. They will maintain the two lanes road for cars/autos until mid October 2017. This according to the city of Paris

There is a new entrance by the rue Custine for the new station of Château-Rouge requiring closing the old entrance at the crossing of boulevard Barbés and rue Poulet in the 18eme arrondissement. The new station will be on the metro line 4 .  This according to the RATP ,the Paris region transport authority.

If you follow the news, there has been a huge delay at Montparnasse (my station luckily no need to travel there now!) The delays are going on two days! Many of the trains are been change to the station gare Austerlitz and some others to the one at Massy-Palaiseau.  This in the effort to make it possible for 3 out of 4 TGV to continue working. The SNCF has indicated the motive of this huge delays was a defect in the isolation of an electrical installation on a signal post !!!. Of course, the government criticize them for this delay but the govt knows they are on the red and do not want to bail out again!!

And Paris France has it’s Olympic Games for 2024!! making the 100 anniversary of the first one in 1924! Credit goes to Bernard Lapasset and Tony Estanguet.  The first one is former President of the International Federation of Rugby and the latter is former Olympic Champion in canoe and member of the CIO; and will be the organsier boss of the organisation committee. Los Angeles were given the games of  2028.  Giving them a bit more on Marketing period that will give them better revenues. More here:

A landmark gone and too sad to report here from my beloved Versailles.

The librairie Puzin library opened in 1908 in the 30, rue de la Paroisse (not far from the marche Notre Dame and the Church of same name) my area…! has stop activity! The webpage here:

The last books were sold to another wonderful library in Versailles, Le Facteur Cheval. Georges Robert Puzin, a Parisien already established in Paris at the avenue Wagram, opened another one in Versailles because his wife wanted to be close to the Royal town  where her sister lived.  They first, opened at the  rue de Maurepas, and shortly after at the current address at the rue de la Paroisse. The family library story will continue as one nephew has a library in Senlis (Oise-60). History abound here, as once Marcel Proust came to lived not far at the Hôtel des Réservoirs and a year later writes in his book “L’affaire Lemoine” telling about a witness of a customer from the librairie Puzin! Versailles the owners rightfully said are of gentle, curious and culture people! Yes indeed.

I will missed stopping by or passing by for many years and even visiting the city now always stop by there. 1908 is a long time to have a library, 109 years!!!!

And after this still sad news, we go eat ice creams in Paris! Many popular ones, these are my hidden favorites.

You come to Hugo & Victor 40 bd Raspail (7eme) Mondays to Fridays and Sundays from 10h to 19h ,Saturdays from 9h to 20h, one scoop 3€ on site or 3,50€ take away. Flavors change every month, like Herbacé for August, and chocolate in September. there are more than a dozen flavors in cone or cup great:more here:

Continue onto Géronimi, 5 rue Férou (6eme) from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9h30 to 20h ,3,80€ to take away, 4,50€ on site. The owner are from Corsica and just open the shop last December. About 30 flavors with a nice Salon de Thé or in terrace.  More here:

Lastly , in my choices you come to Senoble, 11 rue des petits-champs (1eme) open every day from 10h to 22h, minimum two scoops 3,70€ to take away or 5€ on site. It has two stores one at the île Saint Louis and other near the Palais Royal. it does 7 sorbet done on site home made with season fruits like the mandarine kalamansi or the fraise mara des bois (strawberries).  More here:

And this one is closer to me but saw an article in Le Figaro that just need to tell you about it.

In the bay of Lorient only 6 kms from the continent you have the island or île de Groix. It only has 8 kms long and 3 kms wide but it has many mysteries to geologists. On the North side as well as South is rocky coast but it has some beautiful beaches like the one at anse de Locmaria, on the south side or the beach at Grands Sables, one of the only beaches in Europe to have a convex shape! Info on the beaches here in English:

The traject lasts about 45 minutes arriving at the harbor or Port Tudy by the Compagnie Océane serving the island all year around departing from the maritime station of Lorient. Round trip cost is  34,50€ per adult . There is Escal’Ouest that links the island from May to September as well  leaving from the harbor at the Cité de la Voile or Port Louis. Round trip are between  20€ to 28€ for an adult.  The island can be done with a car but is is very nice by bus with  3 lines of them with spaces ; there is one individualise minibus you can contact the  «chauffeur de Groix», at +33 (0) You have many bike rentals at Port Tudy as well. You can see a natural reserve such as the réserve naturelle François Le Bail, with a great mineralogical value in its rocks, schists, blue and green, micaschists unique in France. The association Bretagne Vivante organises tours and if you like to go under water the club de plongée Subagrec does baptism ,explorations, and training for scuba diving.


Compagnie Océane:


réserve naturelle François Le Bail:

Bretagne Vivante:

Club de plongée Subagrec:

The tourist office of the île de Groix is here(French):

And I was here on business luncheon once ,and nice memories and history behind it. For the lovers of chic Paris. The mythical Le Pére Claude, 51 avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 15eme, tel +33 (0) 1 47 34 03 05; menus at 29,50€ and 35€. Open every day. This is where Jacques Chirac and his cabinet came to eat what was offered by the previous owner a name Michel Troigros. A minimum is 3 plates serving dinner or lunch to choose from 5. We had the 29,50€ menu of  entrée, plat, café gourmand, glass of wine and water; great value/price ratio. You have 7 other specialties totaling 17 dishes to choose from ! More info here:

Now, let’s close this post with one of my favorite staying in France, the wines. And especially at this time, what to drink with the heat, hot summer months.  In reality all three main colors can be serve in Summer as long as we know which ones.

The rosé wines are evidently the first ones to think when we think of sun and summer, however, careful not all rosés are refreshing. The more corsés with a sustain robe are for the cooler summer times. The more dry will be be cooler and you put them all in the fridge or in a bucket of ice while serving it.

The red wines can be light and fruity for the strong heat of summers. The wines from the Val de Loire (my favorites), or the pinot noir of Alsace are good for this time. We drink them between 12 and 14C and not at room temperature. We put them in the fridge to cool and bring out the perfums.

The white wines of summer are to be drank between 8c to 12C and some like the grands of Burgundy or those of Alsace better around 10C to preserve their perfum. The most refreshing are again those from the Val de Loire, Corbiéres and Corsica.

We can serve the Champagne between 8-10C. On some are more appropiate than others in Summer. We tend to go for the extra brut with a sugar content less important.  And a final tip, serve all of them about 2C degrees less of the temperature recommended because they can warm up fast in the glass.

And, one final point on wines from Le Figaro.  The prestigious house of the Côtes-du-Rhône of the family Marcel Guigal ,especially present in the Côte-Rôtie and Saint-Joseph  just came to purchase a vinyard in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Domaine de Nalys with 50 hectares and well known for its white wines. It was owned by the insurance group Groupama, now this vinyard oldest in the appellation with origins going back to the 17C.

The family Guigal webpage here:

The Domaine de Nalys here:

Have fun, we are in AUGUST in France; do you know what that means ? Lol!! Cheers

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